Rachael Kohn: Hello, this is “The Ark”, and I am Rachael Kohn. A thousand years ago a Persian poet defied the conventions of the day. His name was Nasir Khusraw, an Ismaili Muslim, a branch of Shi’a Islam. Instead of lavishing praise on the sultan or his horse, he praised learning and spiritual purity…..Click to read the Australian broadcaster’s interview with Nasir Khusraw specialist Alice Hunsberger
“….when it comes to being the first Pakistani woman and the first Ismaili woman to put the nation’s flag and the Ismaili Imamat red and green flag on top of the world, one cannot adequately express the feeling. It is indeed a BLESSING of a life time! We did bring the flag back, and with all love and respect, sent it to Sarcar Mawlana Hazar Imam.” — Samina Baig in exclusive interview with Simerg, see link below.
Please click on photos for enlargement
In a recent exclusive Interview with Simerg, Samina Baig and her brother Mirza Ali Baig spoke about the challenges of mountaineering and their goal to scale the “Seven Summits”, that is to reach the top of the highest mountain in each continent over a period of several months. At the time of the interview, five of the seven mountains including Mt. Everest, the world’s highest, had been conquered since they began their quest in April 2013. Two remained to be climbed.
On June 28, 2014, at 7:20 pm, the brother and sister team made it to North America’s highest summit, Mt. McKinley (20,322ft/6,194m), also known by the native name Denali in the Koyukon and Athabaskan languages, meaning the “High One”. The weather condition was unpredictable and, incredibly, the gain from the base camp to the summit was higher than Mt. Everest!
The duration of the expedition was three weeks. Mirza Ali stated that it could have been done in 18 days, but they got struck at Camp IV at 17,200 ft for four days due to severe weather. It took them 15 hours for the return climb.
As with Mt. Everest and other mountains, Samina and Mirza hoisted the Ismaili Imamat Flag on the peak of Mt. McKinley.
MOUNT ELBRUS: NEXT AND LAST IN THE “SEVEN SUMMITS”
FOR SAMINA AND MIRZA ALI BAIG
Simerg congratulates Samina and Mirza on their monumental feat and continuing success, and wishes them the very best as they depart the USA to conquer the last of the seven summits, Mount Elbrus (18,510ft/5,642m) in Russia, which is considered to be the highest mountain in Europe. They expect to reach their goal of “Seven Summits” by the end of this month or early next month, Inshallah.
Date posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014.
Date updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014 (Mt. Elbrus photo).
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ISMAILI MOUNTAINEERS
Samina Baig at 21 became the first Ismaili woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest as part of her goal to scale the world’s SEVEN SUMMITS. In an exclusive interview with Simerg, when asked about placing the Ismaili flag on top Everest and if she left it there, she said:
“….And when it comes to being the first Pakistani woman and the first Ismaili woman to put the nation’s flag and the Ismaili Imamat red and green flag on top of the world, one cannot adequately express the feeling. It is indeed a BLESSING of a life time! We did bring the flag back, and with all love and respect, sent it to Sarcar Mawlana Hazar Imam.”
Please Continue Reading This World Exclusive Interview for the broader perspectives it offers about the challenges of climbing some of the world’s highest mountains!
Share and forward this LINK to your friends and family around the world. Please also leave your comments on the article’s feedback form.
STARTING WEEK OF MAY 5: EXTRAORDINARY, RARE AND HISTORICAL PHOTOS FROM PRIVATE COLLECTIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
On May 19, 2013, at precisely 7:40 am, Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to reach the peak of the world`s highest mountain, Everest, and proudly place on it the flag of Pakistan as well as that of the Ismaili Imamat, which is often referred to as ‘My Flag’ by members of the Ismaili community. She spent 10 minutes on the summit as her mentor, trainer and proud older brother, Mirza Ali Baig, watched her unique accomplishment from a few hundred metres away….Continue Reading This World Exclusive Interview
The Energy of Roshan and Zeenab
By Navyn Naran
how were you born?
who is your mother?
whose child are you?
who bears a child?
we, are all children.
children of the One,
“Who begets not , nor is He begotten
and there is none like unto Him”
so speaks the faith.
It is about the children,
each child, one child, any child
all the children
you, were a child
and are still;
a body, with a Spirit Breathed into you,
and your ‘child becomes the Man’
on a new moment and new day,
The Movement stirs,
is it the Wind of the Universe
pushing forward Time?
Giving Life and Taking Life Away
a woman bears a child
The Blessing comes to her,
and she, is the mother.
a teacher, teaches children
and understand Allah’s Creation
spiritual and physical.
so that “we may leave this world
a better place than the way
we find it”
does not the Qur’an says:
“and whoseover takes a life,
it is as if he has destroyed all humanity”?
and the Prophet (s.a.s) has said;
“And Paradise lies
at the foot of the Mother”
then what is it you are
trying to achieve?
A Child. A Spark
of the Almighty’s Hand
“an oil, neither of the east , nor of the west,
whose Light glows forth, though no fire touched it.”
“Light upon light” the Noor says.
Roshan was light, Zeenab, a flowering plant
the mothers of children of the world
“she was more than a mother”
“her body may have died but the values
will only be stronger”
mother of her own children
mothers of belief and tenacity
mothers of courage and love..
as water flows, a child grows
plants reach high, lit from Greater than the sky..
what will you teach them, these children?
what will you share with them, the values?
how will you train them, the principles?
Rahim, Rishma, Karim, Sameera,
Karim-Aly and family,
“the energy of the Universe is in one mustard seed”…
the Energy of Roshan and Zeenab
is now faster than the speed of light
Revised: Saturday, April 5, 2014.
Copyright: Navyn Naran
Author’s note: This poem in written to the Taliban in the context that each of them was born to and through a mother. Each was a child in time, and still is their mother’s child. The poem is best acted out and the various stanzas are to be read by children and adult children of different ages…this should invoke a feeling of an individual’s journey in time and a realization that killing one human is as if “one destroyed entire humanity,” including oneself. This, the taliban are doing. The energy they believe they want to overthrow, through the children they destroy, will be transcended to a greater Force because it is Blessed through Allah.
To read more about Roshan Thomas and Zeenab Kassam and the recent tragedy in Kabul, please visit http://ismailimail.wordpress.com, a definitive resource of news about the Ismaili community. We welcome your tribute to Roshan and Zeenab; please click Leave a comment or if you encounter a technical difficulty send your message to email@example.com, subject: Roshan Thomas and Zeenab Kassam.
A Canvas for Light
By Kristopher Benes
As an architect I often get asked to name my favourite Ottawa building! Being a fan of minimalism I was often hard pressed to find anything non-residential that came immediately to my mind –- until that is, when the Ismaili Imamat Delegation building was completed in 2008.
Modern architecture often draws criticism for being too stark, extreme in its simplicity. However, it is its ability to highlight the world around us that I find to be so beautiful in modernism.
The clarity with which the play of shadows for instance may fall upon a crystal white surface allows architecture to behave as an ever-changing canvas, a reflector if one prefers, of what is going on all around. When the sun moves across the sky, the shadows dance along the building’s surfaces and when the sky takes on a different shade, the building glows in a completely different light.
Light can be a wonderful paint brush for those blank walls; it does not need any more complexity than that. And obviously, Fumihiko Maki, the building’s design architect, understands light better than I ever could hope to (after all he has won a Pritzker Prize for his contributions and has enjoyed a career spanning some 50 years).
I think it is this understanding of light and an ability to shape it so beautifully which speaks to me most about the Ismaili Imamat Delegation Building.
Date posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014.
Copyright: Kristopher Benes/Simerg.
Kristopher Benes is a multi-disciplinary Ottawa based architect and principal of Open Plan Architects Inc.
“I learned that when Mohamed was asked how a person could get into Heaven he told them they needed to learn the Names of God; when pressed on how many there were Mohamed responded that there were 99. This really resonated with me; I began to study the Names and respond to them through glass sculpture, and the 99 Names Project was born…” — Andrew Kosorok, Utah
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children” – Nelson Mandela
By Zulfikarali M. Khoja
(special to Simerg)
My diverse background has provided me with three world-class heroes. As a Gujarati speaking Canadian, Ghandi stands out as my hero. The Mahatma found the roots of his policy of non-violence in South Africa where he experienced racism in its extreme form. There is a saying that India gave South Africa Ghandi and in return South Africa gave India the Mahatma.
As a proud Canadian I found my hero in Lester Pearson, Nobel Prize winner for Peace. It is while sitting in a geography class in a segregated school in Pretoria that I was introduced to this figure who originated the Blue Helmeted Peace Keepers to the world. At that time I dreamt of going to Canada. My dream came true!!
As a South African born Canadian there is so much one could write about Madiba, My Hero! I shall restrict myself to two things.
His capacity for forgiveness was so deep and pure that it is difficult to imagine. I was fortunate enough to visit Robben Island. The small cell he spent 27 years and the conditions under which he had spent day after day breaking rocks was heart breaking. Tears rolled down my face as I stood in the middle of the quarry. Yet under these awful conditions he stood as a role model for his fellow prisoners, he studied at night, including Afrikaans, the language of his oppressors. How else would he be able to communicate with his prison guards and understand his enemy? How else would be able to negotiate without knowing his enemy. He believed very strongly that forgiveness does not change the past but opens the future. A future for all South Africans and for the world where is civil strife.
In one of the interviews he was asked what did you miss the most while in prison. His response was the interaction with children. Soon after he became the President of new South Africa he established the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF). Fifty percent of his salary was donated to establish this fund. With headquarters in Johannesburg the NMCF has affiliates in various parts of the world, including Canada.
I was fortunate to be the NMCF Chapter Chair for Ottawa. This opportunity to share the ideals and vision of Madiba to the youth of Ottawa through Youth Conferences on the Hill and extra-curricular activities in school was an enriching experience beyond measure. The Brookfield High School Choir sang South African songs throughout the city and at a variety of public events. This was only one of the ways in which Madiba’s vision was shared with Ottawa citizens.
As an educator and mediator I have been fortunate to have had these lifetime enriching experiences which I share with my children and especially my grandchildren. They are already following in their grandfather’s footsteps.
Date posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Copyright: Zulfikarali M. Khoja.
Please click: RENEWAL AND RENAISSANCE – TOWARDS A NEW WORLD ORDER
“On 2nd November, 1877 my beloved grandfather was born here in Karachi. Through 72 years of Imamat, he guided his spiritual children to happiness and prosperity….Many many memories come to our minds as we think of him. He achieved in his life, for our community that which could only have been accomplished normally in a period of many generations. The tributes that the world has paid him bear honest testimony to his great life and work” — His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, 49th Ismaili Imam
November 2, 2013 marks the 136th birth anniversary of the 48th Ismaili Imam, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan III. Born in Karachi in 1877, he assumed the reign of Imamat at the age of seven, and ruled the Ismailis for 72 years, becoming the community’s longest-serving Imam. He passed away on July 11, 1957, and willed that the mantle of Imamat should pass to his grandson, the present 49th Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV.
We are pleased to provide our readers with links to diverse articles, stories and photo essays related to the beloved 48th Imam, who has been described in one of the pieces as the Imam of the Socio-Economic Revolution. Please click on the following selections:
COMPREHENSIVE BIOGRAPHY AND DECORATIONS
INSPIRING STORIES BY THE YOUTH
PHOTO ESSAYS: EXTRA ORDINARY VISITS AND THE JUBILEES
EXAMPLE SETTER AND DEDICATION TO ISLAM AND THE MUSLIM WORLD
FOR COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE AND VIDEOS PLEASE CLICK: The Global Centre for Pluralism
INTRODUCTION: By clicking on the above image or hyperlink you will have an opportunity to see numerous videos and transcripts from an event hosted by the Global Centre for Pluralism as part of its Annual Lecture Series. The 2013 lecture was delivered by Kofi Annan on May 23 at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa, Canada, and included remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th Ismaili Imam and direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, who is also the Chairman of the Global Centre for Pluralism. In his speech he acknowledged Mr. Kofi Annan’s tireless work to foster peaceful dialogue around the world. Other remarks were given by Canada’s former Governor General, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, and the Global Centre’s Secretary General John McNee. The Editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail, John Stackhouse, led a Q & A with Mr. Kofi Annan.
Again, for a very comprehensive coverage of the event as well as to view all the videos, please click on The Global Centre for Pluralism.
The following are other links covering the event:
1. Readers may wish to view an edited version of John Stackhouse’s Q & A session with Mr. Annan at the newspaper’s website by clicking on Kofi Annan in Conversation with Globe and Mail’s John Stackhouse.
2. TRANSCRIPT: “As you know, Kofi Annan retired from his official post six years ago. But he has in no way retired from his role as an active global statesman – tirelessly working to foster peaceful dialogue around the world…” — His Highness the Aga Khan… more at AKDN
3. TRANSCRIPT: “Ladies and gentlemen, Kenya and Syria are two different examples from my own experience which show why the Aga Khan and the Canadian Government are to be commended for having the vision and generosity to create this institution [Global Centre for Pluralism]….” — Kofi Annan… more at Kofi Annan Foundation (note, this is a pre-released text).
4. ARTICLE: To read The Globe and Mail report of the speech, please click Syria’s civil war likely to explode – Kofi Annan. The article includes several comments posted by its readers, and you might wish to participate in the discussion.
A Life in War and Peace: A Statesman’s Forum with Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
Readers may be interested in Kofi Annan’s presentation and a Q & A session at the Brookings institute in Washington DC to mark the release of his memoir Interventions: A Life in War and Peace (Penguin Press, 2012). Please click on Kofi Annan – Brookings Lecture and Q & A Session or image below: